An unproductive staff can cost your business money, delay turnaround times and inhibiting growth. Sales performance can also suffer a slump and employee stress complaints may spike up as well. In general, an unproductive workforce turns into one giant mess that can put you out of business. This is where effective employee training becomes important. To help make your employees as productive as possible, here are some effective training tips.
Identify Strengths and Weaknesses
Learn where your workforce excels and where they fall short. Monitor current performance metrics of your business through observation and short interviews, even over coffee or checking in in the break room. Once you’ve determined where their strengths and weaknesses lie, your job is to hone their strong points and teach them how to gain the skills and knowledge to address the weak points. Mentor individuals and groups as often as possible. This accelerates their pace of learning and allows them to contribute to the business’ growth immediately. Along these lines, another thing that you can consider doing is to form mentor groups where employees who are stronger in one set of skills can help mentor others who are lacking. This way, your weaker individuals are increasing their purpose and becoming more valuable to the company.
Hone Computer Literacy Skills
Technology is obviously vital to operations of modern small businesses, and for good reason. The ability to streamline and increase efficiency is incredibly important to any business owner who is looking to further widen their profit margins. Computers are everywhere, from desktops to smartphones. If an employee is unable to operate even the most basic of programs, he or she cannot capitalize on today’s technological advances and its benefits. More importantly to you, though, they will not be able to add value to your company in that regard, and if their role is public-facing, your customers might notice. By working on computer skills continuously with your employees, then your entire company will see results.
Incentivize Where Possible
Even the smallest incentives can go a long way in fueling your business’ growth. A $10 gift card, for instance, can motivate your staff to compete and bring out the most creative work they’ve ever done. This is especially useful to when you are working on important projects that need to be done by a close deadline. For most employees, though, it has little to do with the prize money and has more to do with focusing on a goal they can work towards.
Undergo Strategic Thinking Exercises
A strategist or strategic thinker is someone who has the foresight to plan and prepare for future events, whether these events offer business opportunities or pose challenges. To cultivate this mental framework and even do it subconsciously without any effort, one must take the time to work on their strategic skills. Because strategy is the only way that any high performing small business can truly succeed in the long run, you might want to consider taking strategic thinking classes or workshops, or making sure any leaders in your business get some kind of strategic thinking training. Imagine how much more your business would progress if all of your top employees were to become skilled in that!
Provide Meaningful Feedback
There’s no rigid training exercise for providing feedback to your workforce, but make sure that you give constructive feedback on a regular basis. This gives them confirmation that what they are focused on is important and what they are doing is meaningful. If it’s negative feedback, then give it to them straight. This lets them know where they made mistakes and encourages them to do better next time.
Effective training of your staffing is crucial to maximizing productivity levels in the workplace. It will take some time and effort from you and the entire management team, but the rewards are definitely worthwhile.
Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.